Sydney [Australia], January 12 (ANI): As the Sydney Test between India and Australia ended as a draw, batsman Marnus Labuschagne said that he reckons the hosts could have scored more runs in the first innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari batted out 258 balls to help India walk away with an epic draw and head into the final Test at the Gabba, with the series level at 1-1.
"We played a drawn Test match but it is a Test series and we are here to win. Regardless of the result of this game, if we won or it was a draw, we had to go to the Gabba and win. So nothing has changed for us, it is a matter of changing our focus and making sure we take them down at the Gabba," Labuschagne told cricket.com.au.
"I would by no means say it was an off day, I think our bowlers put the ball there for long periods of time. We played really well. Probably that first inning we could have probably got a few more runs, but apart from that it was a really good game from us," he added.
When asked whether Australian bowlers could have done anything differently on day five, Labuschagne said: "A day five SCG wicket usually has a little more rough, a little bit more inconsistent bounce, but when a team blocks out 131 overs, that is fair play to them. They batted well, they grinded well, and I think we could not have changed much. You have respect for the opposition and you respect the way they play. It is Test cricket. No one that is playing Test cricket just lets it go. They all show heart because they are playing for their country."
Labuschagne had recorded scores of 91 and 73 in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Steve Smith was adjudged as Man of the Match as the right-handed batsman played knocks of 131 and 81 respectively.
Batting out 258 balls with a fierce home team throwing everything it had up its sleeves is no mean feat. But the Indian duo of Vihari and R Ashwin stood ground and managed to do just that as they eked out a draw in what was nothing short of an action-packed fifth day. Batting out 131 overs -- the most India have batted in the fourth innings of a Test since 1980 -- showed exactly what Ashwin meant when he spoke about playing like true warriors at the end of the fourth day's play at the SCG.
A hamstring injury notwithstanding, Vihari hit an unbeaten 161-ball 23 while Ashwin hit 39 off 128 balls as the two defended away any hopes Australia had of registering a win. With an injured Ravindra Jadeja waiting in the pavilion, it was important for the two to ensure they saw India to the end and that is just what they did as the players shook hands with an over left. (ANI)